ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Tax or social insurance relief
On 5 November2009, France notified a temporary aid scheme for granting limited amounts ofaid in favour of the agricultural sector - State aid No. N 609/2009.
According to the French authorities, the aimof the notified scheme is to grant temporary aid to agricultural producers thathave been affected by a sudden shortage or unavailability of credit as aresult of the global financial and economic crisis. The aid consists in diverses forms of subsidies, loan bail outs, interests subsidies and social contribution tax cuts. The aid will reach over 1'000 enterprises, however, the French authorities precise that the specified scheme does not apply to export aid.
The amount of aid is limited to 15'000 euros per enterprise. The overall budget is estimated not to exceed 700 million euros. The aid scheme will end on 31 December 2010.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within themeaning of Article 107 par. 1 TFEU and gave the followingassessment:
The measure is selective since the aid will only be allowed to a limited amount of enterprises. According to a constant jurisprudence, the condition of trade distortion is filled as soon as the beneficiary is active in sectors where intra-community trade exists. '...' The simple fact that the aid strengthens the position of this enterprise in comparison with other competitors allows to consider that trade has been affected. The amount of export of agricultural products to other EU members reached 9 054 million euros in 2007 and the amount of imports 5 051 million euros. (par. 30-31 of the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 2.12.2009 C(2009) 9627 final)
The Commission concludes that despite the measure constituting State aid pursuant to theArticle 107 (1) TFEU, it is compatible with the internal marketaccording to the Article 107 (3)(b) TFEU.
Extension of the aid scheme - State aid SA.32173
On 29 December 2010, the frenche authorities notified the EC their intention to extend the scheme until 31 December 2011. The Commission decided not to raise objections.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of theextent to which its implementation affects the extent of discriminationagainst foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aidproposed here is discriminatory.
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